The Managing Director of ECL finance, the non-banking finance arm of Edelweiss group, along with three other officials, presented themselves before the Raigad police on Tuesday in connection with the death of national award-winning art director Nitin Desai.
The Raigad police have registered a case of abetment to suicide against five, including Edelweiss MD Rashesh Shah, based on the complaint filed by Desai’s wife.
An officer said that based on summons issued by Raigad police to ELC MD to present himself with the necessary documents related to the loan provided by the company to Desai, four company employees including the MD appeared before the police at 10 am.
The official said that on August 5, the MD of ECL company was given a notice to appear with documents. “Accordingly, today, MD Phanindranath Kakarla and three other officials were present with the documents. The documents presented by the MD were checked from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm. Some information is incomplete/extensive and notice has been issued to the MD again to appear with documents on August 11 at 10 am,” he said.
ECL had lent Rs 181 crore to Desai’s firm ND’s Art World between 2016 and 2018. Following the defaults, as on June 30, 2022, the total default amount stood at Rs 252.48 crore.
A day before he allegedly died by suicide in his Raigad studio, Desai’s appeal against National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) order allowing initiation of corporate insolvency and resolution process against his studio—ND’s Art World Private Ltd— was dismissed by National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).
The NCLT order came on July 25, 2023, while the NCLAT dismissed Desai’s appeal on August 1, paving way for insolvency proceedings against his firm. Desai was found hanging in ND studios, Karjat, on August 2.
Later, based on a statement given by his wife, police registered an FIR. In her complaint, Neha alleged that officers of Edelweiss were responsible for causing mental stress to her husband. She also said that employees of the creditor firm harassed her husband over loans. She even referred to an audio clip by Desai in which he made allegations against Edelweiss.
However, in a filing with the stock exchange on Sunday, Edelweiss stated, “The interest rate charged by ECLFL was as per prevailing market rates; legal processes for recovery are elaborately established under RBI and IBC guidelines and were duly followed by Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company (EARC). At no time was there any undue pressure being put on the borrower for recovery…”